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News stories tagged with "water-levels"

River advocates slam 'hybrid' water plan

Environmentalists and North Country lawmakers are criticizing a plan to control water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario even before it's made public. The International Joint Commission will release its final plan on March 31st. It's the result of a five-year, $20 million study between the U.S. and Canada to determine the best way to regulate water levels for all the users of the Lakes and River. There are reports the IJC will abandon three plans vetted by the public over the five-year study and instead choose a new option. Congressman John McHugh wrote a letter criticizing that possibility. Dalton Foster lives on Wilson Hill near Massena and runs the International Water Levels Coalition. He spoke with David Sommerstein.  Go to full article

IJC water levels plan delayed

U.S. and Canadian officials with the International Joint Commission has spent five years, and $20 million, on developing a plan to deal with water levels, as well as other issues, including invasive species and shipping. That plan, meant in part to ease the region's economic and environmental concerns, was to be made public at the beginning of next week. Yesterday, the IJC says its recommendation will be delayed. Frank Bevaqua is public information officer for the IJC. He said the commission "just isn't there yet."  Go to full article
Fishing guide Rich Clarke points out low water levels at French Bay marina in Clayton.
Fishing guide Rich Clarke points out low water levels at French Bay marina in Clayton.

Heard Up North: low water frustration

Boaters wrapping up their summer fun on the St. Lawrence River last weekend saw shoals and rocks they hadn't seen before. Dock space was even tighter than usual at parks and other public tie-ups. The holiday weekend provided just the latest evidence of unusually low water levels that have angered residents up and down the river since mid-August. Some people have simply taken their boats elsewhere. The low water is the latest addition to a list of concerns that especially frustrates those who make their living on the river. Many people blame the Seaway and shippers who brought invasive species, and the New York Power Authority for disturbing the natural state of the river with its hydropower dam. A fishing guide is today's Heard Up North.  Go to full article

Why is the St. Lawrence so low?

So why are the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario so low this summer? David Sommerstein called John Kangas. He's the U.S. Secretary of the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control. This is the agency that actually determines how much water should be let through the dam in Massena, controlling water levels all the way back to Niagara Falls. Kangas says the problems started last winter, when there was too much water. So to prevent flooding in Lake Ontario, the Board let a lot of water through the dam.  Go to full article

Water Levels Study: The Envelope, Please

A 5-year, $20 million study of water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River was finished last week. It's a collaboration between the U.S. and Canada. It's the first time the system has been reviewed since the 1960s. The study recommends three options for holding and releasing water downriver. David Sommerstein explains.  Go to full article

River Groups Hope Water Level Plan Isn't Status Quo

A binational agency is holding its final public meetings this week over new plans to control water levels on Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River. It's the first time the system is under review since the St. Lawrence was dammed in the 1950s. River residents are getting worried the 5-year, $25 million project may amount to nothing new. David Sommerstein explains why.  Go to full article
Karen Lago on Cobb Shoal, where cattails dominate due to less water fluctuation.
Karen Lago on Cobb Shoal, where cattails dominate due to less water fluctuation.

People Plan for Future of Mighty River

The U.S. and Canadian governments are revisiting how they control water in the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for the first time since the 1950s. The International Joint Commission has spent five years and $25 million studying how different water levels at different times of the year affect everything from wetlands and beaches to shoreline docks and Seaway ships. The IJC is shopping around three new water level plans at public meetings around the region. As David Sommerstein reports, most people in the North Country favor one of them, but their voices may be drowned out by larger population centers elsewhere.  Go to full article

High Lake Levels Boon for Shipping

Water levels on the Great Lakes have come up this summer, thanks to the wet conditions. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Mike Simonson has more.  Go to full article

Debate Over St. Lawrence Water Levels

The International Joint Commission is four years into a five-year, $20 million study of water flows in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. It's looking at how water levels affect everything on or in the water - from harbor drafts in Montreal to boaters in the Thousand Islands to muskee in the St. Lawrence to homeowners outside Rochester. The IJC is holding meetings in Massena tonight and Alexandria Bay tomorrow to gather public input. Dalton Foster, Massena, is president of the International Water Levels Coalition, a grassroots citizen group. He's the former chairman of the public input branch of the IJC study. He told David Sommerstein the St. Lawrence Seaway and Massena power dam forever altered the way water flows to the ocean.  Go to full article

Rainy Spring Boosts Water Levels

The soggy spring and early summer have helped raise water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. But shoreline residents say it wouldn?t take a drought for the water to dip too low again. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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